I enjoyed reading your article.
"The first person to cross the threshold on New Year’s Day should be a dark male, and he should bring with him symbolic pieces of coal, shortbread, salt, black bun and a bit of whisky. (You have to invite him in.)"
This describes part of the Scottish Hogmanay celebration which has developed over many centuries from pagan times, gathering bits as it went. It's called "first footing". I read that the "dark male" preference originated from a time when there was a folk memory of Viking raids. But for traditions well over a thousand years old, who knows?!